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Making Dry Curd Cottage Cheese

By Lara DeHaven

Homemade Dry Curd Cottage Cheese

The cheese-making process has fascinated me since we started our own home dairy with goats.  I have not explored it as much as I want; however, I am slowly learning.  Chevre is delicious to eat and easy to make.  To learn how I make it, read “Easy Goat Cheese.”

Now that my family and I are eating on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, we can no longer have chevre.  Many recipes in Breaking the Vicious Cycle by Elaine Gottschall rely on Dry Curd Cottage Cheese.  I looked and looked for a source to purchase this cheese.  I even went so far as asking a grocery store manager to order it for me by the case, but apparently he could not find it either. 

Then it dawned on me.  I can make it myself.  So, I began reading up on what dry curd cottage cheese is.  It is simply the curds without the whey, cream, or milk in cottage cheese.  Then I read up on how to make cottage cheese from goat milk.  My next step was to take the plunge and try.

Before you begin, you need a large pot, a good thermometer, a cheesecloth, and rennet.  You can use the tablet form or liquid form.  It does not matter if you use animal or vegetable rennet.  Do NOT use Junket Brand rennet from the grocery store.  It is not intended for use in cheese-making.  Hoegger Goat Supply offers a great cheese-making kit and/or sells the items individually. 

Dry Curd Cottage Cheese

1 gallon of whole goat milk
1 cup cultured buttermilk
1/4 tsp liquid rennet or 1/8 tablet of tablet rennet
1/4 cup cool water

Heat the milk to 90 degrees.  Dilute the rennet in the water.  Stir the buttermilk into the warmed milk.  Then add the diluted rennet and stir.  Cover and allow to sit for 4 hours. 

Coagulation will have taken place, meaning that most of the milk will have turned into a solid.  Using a long knife, cut the curds into 1/2″ cubes.  Let them rest for half an hour. 


At 115 degrees, the curds are cooking and losing their custard-like appearance.

Begin heating the curds again to 115 degrees while stirring gently.  Keep the curds to the best of your ability at this temperature for half an hour.  It is a juggling game.  You are stirring to keep the curds from becoming one big clump.  The curds are done when they stop looking like custard.  They look more like large cottage cheese curds. 

Line a colander with your cheesecloth.  Drain the pot keeping the curds in the cheesecloth.  Put a few inches of hot water back into your pot.  Dip the bag of curds into the hot water to rinse.  The water should look cloudy.  Drain the curds for 5 minutes.  Pour out the water in the pot and replace this time with a few inches of cold water.  Now dip the bag of curds into the cold water.  The water should be faintly cloudy.  Drain the curds for half an hour.  

Place the dry curds into a container.  Add 1 tsp Kosher salt.  Refrigerate. 

Making Dry Curd Cottage Cheese is relatively easy.  You just need a few inexpensive supplies and a day at home to make it.  During the 4 hour wait while the milk coagulates, I busy myself with many other things so it is not like you spend your entire day in the kitchen.  

I do not pour the whey down the drain.  Instead I drain the whey into a large bowl.  When it cools, either Kyla or Jake give it to their show pigs as a treat.  Whey contains lactose, which makes it unacceptable for those on SCD.  However, it also has vitamins, proteins, and minerals.  Since whey is often used by body builders, I thought feeding it to our show pigs was a good use of this cheese-making by-product. 

If you are interested in making regular cottage cheese, you would follow the above recipe.  Then before refrigerating the curds, you would add a few ounces of cream or whole milk to the curds.

Whether you are following SCD protocol, making cheese from your own milk is rewarding.  It is also a good way to use excess milk when your refrigerator is getting too full.  If you are having trouble finding your own source for dry curd cottage cheeese, now you know that you can make it at home.

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44 Responses to “Making Dry Curd Cottage Cheese”

  1. Barb

    Could this same recipe/process be used with raw cow milk? Thanks for any information you might have.

  2. Lara DeHaven

    I don’t see why not. The goat milk and cow milk should work the same in the recipe. Goat milk is more delicate and should not be heated up as high as cow milk. For example when making yogurt, I only heat my goat milk to 175 degrees vs. the 180 degrees for cow milk. The discrepancy is not very big. So if I were you, I would follow the recipe for Dry Curd Cottage Cheese the same as written. Hope this helps.

  3. Gayle

    Thank you for posting this recipe! I’d given up trying to find DCCC. And good luck with your SCD diet. I’ve been on it about 10 months now–the last six mos TOTALLY symptom free after years of a limited life that included two hospitalizations and eight transfusions, not to mention their useless, immune-system suppressing drugs that did nothing to keep me out of the hospital. They were pushing surgery when I found “Breaking the Vicious Cycle.” Hopefully, you won’t experience the three-month “bump” that Elaine speaks of where symptoms suddenly and inexplicably recur, but if you do, hang in there through it. While it’s very discouraging, it WILL pass in a few weeks and you’ll soon have your life back!

  4. Lara DeHaven

    Thank you so much for sharing your story on SCD. We have completed one month and counting. Hopefully, we will not experience the three-month bump. It is encouraging to hear how well you are doing on it.

  5. margo

    hi, thank you for the information, i am curious, do you make the buttermilk yourself, or get it commercially? is buttermilk scd-legal? i would love to try to make the dccc myself. thank you!

  6. Keith Phillips

    I have goats also, and I’m wondering if the end product of your recipe is the same as the lemon juice / vinegar method (below). Because to me, it sounds like the end-product will be the same. I’m also looking into the SC Diet, but not yet started.
    Recipe: Fill saucepan with goat’s milk. Heat gradually until 183°, and maintain that for 10 minutes. Stir often. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice or vinegar. Stir & then let stand until milk starts to curdle. Line colander with cheesecloth. Ladle curdled milk into colander. Allow whey to drain about 1.5 hours.

  7. Lara DeHaven

    Great question. I failed to read the ingredients on the buttermilk labels until after I had made several batches of this DCCC recipe. Unfortunately, there is starch in the buttermilk. I have not been making DCCC since; however, I have a friend who runs a dairy. She tells me that you can make buttermilk easily on your own with a special culture. I have not done it yet because I have been using recipes that do not call for DCCC. Another idea is from a fellow reader. Read his comment below. He uses lemon juice to curdle the milk. This would be the easiest thing to try and completely SCD legal. The main thing for the DCCC is that you remove all the whey and eat only the curds.
    Thank you for raising this question.

  8. Lara DeHaven

    I so appreciate you sharing your recipe using the lemon juice or vinegar. When making this cheese, the main point is to separate the whey from the curds. If I make DCCC again, I will use your recipe. Thanks for writing in.

  9. margo

    thank you :) your site is great. i am very curious about your life, texas, and homesteading, and obvs SCD eating. great blog. thanks again, margo

  10. Lara DeHaven

    Thanks, Margo. That means a lot.

  11. Matt

    What is the quantity of DCCC that this recipe makes?

  12. Jabin

    Keith, how much lemon juice or vinegar do you use for half a gallon of milk? Which do you use? Do you prefer lemon juice or vinegar? White or apple cider? I already make my own yogurt and looking forward to trying DCCC.

  13. Lara DeHaven

    I believe that it yields 3-4 cups of dry curds. Thank you for your question.

  14. Kathy

    My understanding is that the process of culturing the milk products uses up the lactose. So I’m assuming the cultures in the Buttermilk would be doing the same for the milk as it’s becoming cottage cheese. Using lemon juice would curdle the milk, but I don’t think it would consume the lactose & it’s the lactose that makes milk products illegal for SCD. any thoughts?

  15. Lara DeHaven

    The buttermilk became illegal when the company that produces it added starch to thicken it. It does not have to do with the lactose. You can make buttermilk at home that would be legal on the SCD protocol without adding starch of some sort. It would work in the DCCC recipe and you are right about the lactose going with the whey and not staying with the curds. Unfortunately, store-bought buttermilk contains starch in the ingredients, which I initially did not catch.
    Thanks for your question.

  16. Karen

    Laura, how has this turned out using lemon juice or vinegar?


  17. Lara DeHaven

    I have not tried either way yet. I am sorry that I cannot tell you the results. In other cheese-making, the use of lemon juice or vinegar yields great results. It is definitely worth the try.

  18. JoAnn

    I made some amazing DCCC today for the first time, using Cow milk heated to 180 F and adding SCD yogurt! DCCC is the same as Indian Paneer cheese and I found the recipe at . I am so excited, it tastes delish!!
    I too had been unable to get DCCC anywhere, even by the case, short of having it shipped with a > $50 shipping fee! I am also intolerant of citrus and some vinegars, so I was concerned about making my own buttermilk. This was easy, fun, quick and tasty. I put some straight into Elaine’s cheesecake recipe! whoo hoo!!! Life just got easier!

  19. Lara DeHaven

    Fantastic! Thank you for sharing.

  20. Laurie

    Lara, thank you for this site and recipe. I’ve had Crohn’s Disease since 1974, when I was 15 years old. My Crohn’s is classified as chronic/acute and has been extremely active for over 2 years now. I’m on 2 types of injections, oral medications, and pain killers (percocet). I never heard of “Breaking the Vicious Cycle” until today, when Julie, a Church friend, told me about it and lent me her copy of the book (thank you Lord). I got home from Bible Study about an hour ago and immediately read bits and pieces of the book after reading the few blurbs from the Crohn’s patients on the back cover. I then started searching for what “dry curd cottage cheese” is. Amazingly, I found out that it’s also known as farmer cheese, something I have absolutely loved my entire life. I buy a little 6 oz. block of Friendship Farmer Cheese at Publix Supermarket (the only place in my area that sells it) for about $1.79. I then started searching for recipes to see how difficult or costly it is to make and came upon this site. It sounds so simple and easy to make. Since milk is about $3.20 a gallon, I figure it’ll cost about $4 to make 32 oz. of DCCC, which is only about $0.75 for 6 oz., less than 1/2 the price of the store bought version. Since I purchased 2 gallons of milk earlier today, I’m going to use 1 of them to make the DCCC vinegar version tomorrow. I’ll come back after I make it and let you know how successful I was. This site is so informative! Thank you for sharing the recipe and responding to everyone’s posts!!! God bless you!

  21. Lara DeHaven

    Thank you for your kind words. I look forward to hear about your success not only with making DCCC, but on the SCD protocol. It has worked wonders for some in my family, and we are just beginning our 11th month.

  22. Laurie

    Hi again. I’m glad to hear that the SCD protocol is working so well for some members of your family and that you’re being steadfast with it and entering your 11th month. I wish you all continued success! My symptoms have eased up a little so I’m going to continue with the regimen and pray for more success.

    I tried making the DCCC, but since not one store in my area carries rennet I had to make it by using one gallon of whole milk and 5 tablespoons of lemon juice. It turned out very much like the farmer cheese by Friendship, but I don’t know if this is what it’s supposed to be like.

    I did ask my local Publix Supermarket to order the Junket rennet tablets ($1.99 for an 8-tablet box), but it won’t be here for about 4 weeks. Do you know if this product okay to use? I am searching the internet for rennet to use in the meanwhile and I’ve been trying to get as much information as possible about rennet (both the animal and vegetable versions). I’ve read that animal rennet is better than vegetable rennet. Do you agree? Which type of rennet should I use for the DCCC and SCD protocol?

    I’m going to try to make the yogurt tomorrow using my crock pot/slow cooker as suggested in the book. Since fresh fruits are almost non-existent this time of year, I’m wondering if you or anyone else knows if, under SCD protocol, I can use all natural/nothing added frozen fruit to flavor it?

    Sorry for so many questions, but I’m so clueless and new to all of this. Any guidance and information you and anyone else can offer me is really appreciated. Thanks again for all you do!

  23. Lara DeHaven

    I am using natural calf rennet. It comes in tablets. I just cut sections off of it with a sharp knife. I store it in the refrigerator, and it seems to last forever. The brand is BioRen. You may certainly use frozen fruit. Read the labels and make sure it is just the fruit. I make yogurt in a yogurt maker and in a roasting oven. I always stick a thermometer in it to check the temperature. You don’t want to ruin it by cooking it too hot or too cold. It has to be between 100-110 degrees F.
    I am glad that you are seeing results. I have read that if you don’t in the first month, you won’t in twelve. So, it sounds like you will do well on the protocol. It is not easy, but seeing the results in our family, it is definitely worth it. Now everyone is asking what we are going to do in April when our year is over.

  24. Hi, im in the process of making DCCC but im stuck! I have heated the milk to 90 degrees celcius and added the buttermilk and rennet but now I have to let it stand for 4 hours… do i let it stand on heat or off heat for the 4 hours?? :) At the moment ive it left on heat!?? Thanks!

  25. Hi! Really need AO help making this DCC cheese! Tried making it last night following the above recipe but it turned terribly wrong and I don’t know why! I was left with a pot of 4l of liquid milk/buttermilk. There was no coagulation of curds whatsoever! I heated milk to 90 degrees Celsius , then added the cultured buttermilk, then added the water and liquid rennet mixture (one quarter tsp) I then took it off the heat to sit for 4 hours but nothing happened the mixture! Then I thought maybe I should have kept it on a low heat for the 4 hours and I tried that but nothing! When the recipe says leave it to sit , does it mean to sit on heat or off heat? I would really appreciate any comments to help me make proper DcCC :) thanks

  26. Lara DeHaven

    I am so sorry that you were having such problems and that I was unable to help you when you needed it. The very first thing that hits me as I read your steps is that I heat my milk to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. I believe that this is our problem: a lack of proper communication. To answer your question about “does it mean to sit on heat or off heat?,” the answer is off heat. Once you achieve curds four to five hours after adding the diluted rennet/water mixture, then you slowly bring the temperature up to 115 degrees Fahrenheit, stirring gently. It takes about 30 minutes for the curds to cook. An indication is when they no longer look like custard. Then you begin the draining process.
    Sandra, again I apologize for the misunderstanding on temperature. If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

  27. Hi Lara,
    Thank you so much for your reply, I really appreciate it and that u spotted what I was doing wrong, that means I can still make the cheese which I am delighted about! I’m dying to make the SCD cheesecake :) I will have a go at making it tomorrow , all excited again! Thanks again Lara, il let u know how I get on with making it! :)

  28. Lara DeHaven

    Good luck, Sandra!

  29. Hi Lara, so I made the DCCCC and it turned out well! Finally, I can make the cheesecake ;)I’m delighted with the outcome. Thanks again for the recipe and for all your help. :)

  30. Tina

    I am curious if there are goat and sheep cheese one can eat that are SCD legal? Like pecorino Romano is made from sheep milk and goat gouda. How aged does it have to be to be SCD legal? I also understand from your post that Chevre isn’t legal but isn’t that what dripped goat yogurt would be considered?

    Thank you, Tina

  31. Tina

    also wondering how to make goat buttermilk, I can’t have cow dairy so have to make all these myself since I can’t use the DCCC from cow. Apparently I can’t tolerate the protein in cow, gluten, soy, the lactose isn’t an issue, even though I know its not allowed on SCD. I appreciate any clarity on this if I am incorrect and can eat cow dairy. I have Crohn’s, eczema and psoriasis and the eczema does break out when I eat cow dairy, even cheese. But I have been fine with goat milk products. I have only been on SCD 2 weeks. So far so good I just need more variety because I do love cheese/goat and sheep.

    Thanks again,

  32. Tina

    where can i buy rennet to make the dry curd cottage goat cheese? I am trying to make my own butter milk now, just put a T of vinegar in 1 cup of raw goat milk and allowing to sit at room temp. Hopefully that will work so I can make the dccc, I am making it for the Specific Carbohydrate diet and can’t have dairy so am trying it with goat! Wish me luck! But I need rennet first!
    Thank you,

  33. Lara DeHaven

    I have seen rennet in the refrigerated section of some health food stores. I ordered mine from Hoegger Goat Supply And, Good Luck!

  34. Marilyn L. Alm

    Hi! I’ve been on the SCD for over ten years. I just want to warn people that NO acid-based cheese is SCD-legal. The reason is because there are no enzymes or bacteria to break down the lactose, and the curds from using the acid method will have a bunch of lactose in them.

    The method using the buttermilk — provided you can find buttermilk without added starches and gums — is perfectly acceptable.

    It’s a bit tedious, but you can also do what I did my first four years on SCD. Make buckets of SCD yogurt, and drip or drain it down real well, and use that in lieu of the dry curd cottage cheese.

  35. Marilyn L. Alm

    After a bit of research, I found The culture they sell will do the job of the buttermilk in the recipe above, and it is SCD-legal. Like yogurt cultures, it has a bit of lactose to sustain the culture before it is used, but this is used up in the fermentation. I telephoned the company (very nice lady!) and she confirmed that their cultures would work fine in goat’s milk, although she said that the yield might be slightly greater or slightly less than with cow milk. Typically, the yield is one pound of DCCC from a gallon of milk. It appears that one can also obtain the rennet, the butter muslin, and other supplies for making the DCCC. So, happy cheese-making! I’m thinking of ordering some cultures to experiment, even though I tolerate the cow dairy just fine.

  36. Lara DeHaven

    Thank you so much, Marilyn.

  37. Hi Lara, I found your site by googling how to make dry curd cottage cheese. My parents read Breaking The Vicious Cycle when I was in high school back on the eighties. They put me on the diet, and my recovery was amazing, even miraculous. I have lived on some version of the diet for my whole life. I have been incredibly well. I now have nine children, all of which the doctors said I would never have.
    During the past few years, I have strayed from the diet, and am not at my best. I will be beginning it again tomorrow. My question is, and you may not know the answer, is since I have an excellent source of raw cows milk from grass fed cows and do not have a problem with the lactose, (I know this because I went on the raw milk diet for a while and felt wonderful), do you think I could do the SCD following it perfectly except allowing a small amount of raw milk?
    I do make my own yogurt as well, and really do not need to drink the milk. I guess I just see it now as so nourishing, and the cheeses and yogurt do lose some of the nutrients in the cooking process.
    Just wondering if you had any thoughts on the subject.

  38. Lara DeHaven


    I am certainly not an expert on the SCD protocol. To me, the question is: do you want to follow the protocol to the letter for a year in order to heal your gut entirely or do you just want to eat super healthy. If it is the latter, then in my opinion I think drinking raw milk would be fine.

    Thank you for sharing your experience with us.

  39. Tina

    I am on the BTVC-SCD yahoo groups and I am sure they can answer your questions. They help so many people who are on the SCD. I’ve been on it 4 months and am learning so much from people who have been on it for years and years!

    I believe that you don’t want the lactose because that’s what the bad bacteria feed on, that’s why they don’t want you drinking milk but the homemade yogurt per Elaine’s recipe in BTVC is lactose free
    because the lactose is eaten by the bacteria during the yogurt making process (24 hours at 110*-115*). I think after you’ve healed you can have small amounts of milk. Its considered advanced so you want to have it only after ample healing is achieved (like a year on SCD at least I believe – don’t have the book in front of me). Hope that helps you!

    I would still love to know how to make butter milk out of raw goat milk if anyone would answer that I’d be so appreciative :)

    Atlanta, GA
    Crohn’s 5 years
    Psoriasis 45 years
    Eczema 30 years or less
    SCD 4 months and doing great!

  40. Kathy L.

    Hi Lara! Thank you for this site : ) I am going to try and make DCCC but in the meantime after looking at this, if my store has curds, is that the same thing as DCCC? When I asked for DCCC they said no we don’t carry that but we have curds. I found farmers cheese at Whole Foods but it is 7.99 and that is just too expensive for me to buy regularly. I am at one week on the SCD and I have not felt this good in 5 years. I am so excited to continue with all the recipes in the book when I get the yogurt maker I ordered and a good source for DCCC. Thank you again. Kathy L.

  41. Shawnie

    Hello Homesteader

    I am sorry for stepping in like this – and, I don’t want to be a downer for all the SCD’rs out there… I am a SCD’r too and although this is a wonderful recipe, it is not alright for us. Buttermilk is on the illegal list – I know, I am looking for a legal goat cheese recipe myself.

    Here is the link for the SCD legal/illegal list

    Thank you

  42. Randall

    How is going through the whole process in the article produce a different result than going to store, picking up a tub of regular cottage cheese, and washing away whatever the curds are sitting in, leaving just the curds?

  43. I have no idea what rennet is but I sure need to figure out how to make this. My husbands crohns is really bad and I have to start making everything for him. Time is so so limited. sigh.

  44. Lara DeHaven


    I purchase rennet from a reputable dairy supply company. Hoegger Goat Supply has many cheesemaking supplies.


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